Alarms And Scandals: How Do You Commit Such A Crime?

I was skimming through a series of bar exam question samples and one question that caught my eye was about alarms and scandals. The question was: Supposed a woman rented a condo unit equipped with indoor swimming pool. One evening, the woman decided to take a swim naked. Although the pool is situated in a private location, people who are renting other units can still get a good view of the woman swimming in her birthday suit. Some people were feasting their eyes and others were taking pictures. Others took offense to the view of the naked woman. Is skinny dipping violating the law on alarms and scandals? For us to know whether or not the woman has violated the law, we need to take a look at the situations in which the crime of alarms and scandals is committed. 

Art. 155. Alarms and scandals. — The penalty of arresto menor or a fine not exceeding P200 pesos shall be imposed upon:

1. Any person who within any town or public place, shall discharge any firearm, rocket, firecracker, or other explosives calculated to cause alarm or danger;

2. Any person who shall instigate or take an active part in any charivari or other disorderly meeting offensive to another or prejudicial to public tranquility;

3. Any person who, while wandering about at night or while engaged in any other nocturnal amusements, shall disturb the public peace; or

4. Any person who, while intoxicated or otherwise, shall cause any disturbance or scandal in public places, provided that the circumstances of the case shall not make the provisions of Article 153 applicable.

Alarms and scandals are crimes of disturbance. It has to do with bringing disturbance to public peace. Scandalous acts deemed offensive to good customs, morals and public policy are considered as crimes of disturbance. Note that the crime is committed if it is disturbing the peace in public nature. Now going back to the question, is the woman guilty of committing the crime of disturbance?

In the case of going skinny dipping, while the act may seem to be insensitive, it does not necessarily mean it is illegal. While the act caught other people's attention, the pool is situated in a private location. The act was not for everyone's viewing pleasure. Although there were people checking out the woman going skinny dipping, the woman had no intention to cause disturbance. The woman was merely enjoying the water and not to entice other people into ravishing her forms. 

Pinoy Attorney

Written by : Pinoy Attorney